Maggie O’Farrell: ‘I wrote at least 17 separate drafts of After You’d Gone’

The Costa and Women’s prize winner on the long gestation of her debut novel The short answer as to how I wrote my first novel would be: haphazardly. I was 22 and travelling back overland from Hong Kong, where I’d been living, when I went to a museum near Irkutsk. I was the only visitor, […]

‘We swam to Hong Kong for freedom half a century ago. What now?’ – video

Hon Man Po is a freedom swimmer who fled China for Hong Kong. He arrived in 1968 after years of trying.  Two years prior he swam for five hours in the dark from the mainland to Macau, where he made enough money to take an illegal boat journey to Hong Kong. He was one of […]

Emmy the Great: April / 月音 review – a quest for belonging

(Bella Union)The artist’s lush fourth album, written between New York and Hong Kong, is a stirring exploration of different homes There’s both pathos and power in not quite belonging to any one place: born and raised in Hong Kong, Emma-Lee Moss found fame in London before moving to the US in 2014. After Trump’s election, […]

Flurry of coronavirus reinfections leaves scientists puzzled

Though far from common, some patients developed worse symptoms the second time they became infected with Covid-19 Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage On 15 August, a 33-year-old man landed in Hong Kong after flying home from Spain. On arrival, he was screened for coronavirus. Despite feeling well he tested positive. It […]

‘Resist until the end’: On the ground with Apple Daily, Hong Kong’s pro-democracy newspaper – video

We follow Oscar, a journalist at the tabloid, who in the shadow of China’s controversial national security law continues to report on – now largely silenced – street protests. When the law came into force three months ago, Apple Daily was raided by police: journalists’ desks were searched and its founder was taken away in […]

After Hong Kong: China sets sights on solving ‘the Taiwan problem’

An invasion may not be imminent but experts say armed forces could have capacity to mount one by the end of the decade Soon after China imposed the new national security law that effectively ended Hong Kong’s limited autonomy, a hawkish legal academic in Beijing spelt out a warning to Taiwan. The law was not […]

‘Back where we were’: history repeats for Hong Kong’s freedom swimmers

They risked their lives in search of liberty in the British colony – now the system they were desperate to escape is at the door Who runs Hong Kong: party faithful shipped in to carry out Beijing’s will They came one by one, dragging themselves from the sea on to the shores of Hong Kong […]

Emmy the Great: ‘Live music’s going to be weird, but it also might be cathartic’

The singer-songwriter on how Hong Kong inspired her new album, why she then had to leave, and the first thing she’ll do when we’re Covid-free Emma-Lee Moss, 36, has recorded four albums as Emmy the Great, including her forthcoming LP, April /月音, inspired by explorations of her Hong Kong-Chinese identity (her mother is from Hong […]

Hong Kong’s terracotta tile army marches to the rescue for coral

Scientists are using 3D-printed hexagons to create artificial reefs after a super-typhoon brought devastation In 2018, a super-typhoon destroyed 80% of the corals in Hoi Ha Wan bay off the Sai Kung peninsula in Hong Kong. In the city’s strongest storm since records began, winds reached 155mph (250km/h) and battered the reefs, leaving behind mostly […]

‘A matter of when not if’: New Zealand begins battle against ‘Covid fatigue’

Spooked by outbreaks in Australia and Hong Kong, authorities are urging ‘constant vigilance’ Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Customers stream into a central Wellington cafe, past a QR code posted on the door that allows people to check in on the New Zealand government’s Covid-19 tracing app. None pause to pull […]

Is China pushing Hong Kong further away with its new security law? – video explainer

Beijing has imposed sweeping new national security legislation on Hong Kong, criminalising ‘secession, subversion, terrorism and collusion with foreign forces’. Critics fear the law will enable a crackdown on protest and dissent as China seeks to exert new levels of control over the semi-autonomous territory. The Guardian’s Beijing bureau chief, Lily Kuo, explains what this […]

Is too much trade at stake for Britain to stand up to Beijing?

Boris Johnson’s defence of democracy in Hong Kong has put at risk both exports and Chinese investment in UK infrastructure When China’s ambassador to London, Liu Xiaoming, warned this month that there would be “countermeasures” if ministers interfered in Chinese internal affairs over Hong Kong, it sent a shudder through Britain’s battered business community. After […]

Swan Lake in the bath and a quarantine Elvis: dazzling lockdown dance

With venues closed, choreographers including Mark Morris have been creating increasingly inventive work at home Hottest front-room seats: the best theatre and dance online Choreographer Corey Baker’s Swan Lake, reimagined in the bath, is a total delight. Made for the BBC, which goes some way to explaining why its production values are so much higher […]

Hongkongers on China’s crackdown: ‘I feel helpless and hopeless’

Guardian readers in or from Hong Kong share their views on the new national security law In late May, a week after Chinese officials announced a plan to impose a sweeping national security law on Hong Kong, the Guardian issued a callout to people who believed they would be affected. We wanted to hear how […]

Living in Hong Kong: are you thinking about settling in the UK?

We would like to hear from those eligible for the right to settle in the UK on whether they are thinking of leaving Hong Kong In response to the UK prime minister offering nearly 3 million residents in Hong Kong the right to settle in the UK, China has said it would take “corresponding measures” […]

Hong Kong: HSBC and Standard Chartered caught between US and China

As US passes legislation targeting Chinese officials, banks face question of ‘which side their bread is buttered’ HSBC and Standard Chartered risk being caught up in the geopolitical struggle between the US and China after the US House of Representatives passed legislation targeting Chinese officials involved in implementing a national security law in Hong Kong. […]

New UK law could challenge China over Hong Kong, but will it go far enough?

Legislation will allow Foreign Office to confront countries over human rights, but who it will target remains to be seen New UK human rights sanctions legislation set to be published in the next few weeks is being touted as a possible tool with which to confront Chinese officials over Hong Kong, but questions loom about […]

Hong Kong’s security laws usher in new era of Chinese control

Beijing’s new rules appear tailored to cover the actions of protesters and their supporters Hong Kong protests – latest developments Beijing has imposed a raft of national security rules on Hong Kong, ushering in a new chapter of Chinese control over the semi-autonomous territory once known as a haven of political freedom and civil liberty. […]

Hong Kong fears freedoms will end as new law looms

With Beijing’s sweeping security law set to pass this week, many protesters accept that ‘one country, two systems’ is over To Jennifer Tsui, the looming national security law agreed last month by China’s legislature seems like the “real” return of Hong Kong to China. When Hong Kong reverted from British to Chinese sovereignty on 1 […]

How Hong Kong caught fire: the story of a radical uprising

Hong Kong used to be seen as cautious, pragmatic and materialistic. But in the past year, an increasingly bold protest movement has transformed the city. Now, as Beijing tightens its grip, how much longer can the movement survive? By Tania Branigan and Lily Kuo On 4 June 2020, as darkness enveloped Hong Kong, thousands of […]

‘The anger is still there’: Hong Kong defiant a year on from first protests

China’s national security law has reinvigorated a protest movement that began with opposition to an extradition bill When Freeman Yim stepped out to join a peaceful demonstration against a controversial extradition bill on 9 June last year, he never knew it would be the start of a drawn-out movement that would plunge Hong Kong into […]

How to find the hope in the bad news: this week’s optimism | Upside

George Floyd, Covid-19 and Hong Kong suggest a world in turmoil. But within are stories of humanity and opportunities for change So now we have not one global crisis but three. Minneapolis, Covid-19, Hong Kong – race, health, geopolitics. How do you find the hope in that lot? My response, when people ask why the […]

Taiwan promises ‘support’ for Hong Kong’s people as China tightens grip

President Tsai Ing-wen pledges ‘necessary assistance’ after a resurgence in protests against newly proposed security legislation from Beijing Taiwan will provide the people of Hong Kong with “necessary assistance”, President Tsai Ing-wen has said, after a resurgence in protests in the Chinese-ruled territory against newly proposed national security legislation from Beijing. Taiwan has become a […]

Winners of the Kolga Tblisi Photo Award – in pictures

Protests in Hong Kong, the war in Syria and a sideways look at the international arms industry are some of the highlights of the Kolga Tbilisi Photo Award, part of the organisation’s annual photo festival, designed to promote links between international photographers and homegrown talent. Here is a selection of the winning images Continue reading…

How the face mask became the world’s most coveted commodity

The global scramble for this vital item has exposed the harsh realities of international politics and the limits of the free market. By Samanth Subramanian If Ovidiu Olea is astonished by the fact that he’s gone from being a finance guy to a mask mogul in four months, he shows no sign of it. The […]

Reporting in Wuhan: ‘I thought Sars wouldn’t be repeated, this was worse’

The Guardian’s Beijing bureau chief reflects on four months of risk and emotion at the heart of the Covid-19 epidemic On 6 January, I wrote a short memo to our newsdesk: “Something we probably want to keep an eye on are these severe viral pneumonia cases that have been racking up (now 44) in Wuhan […]

Home review – designs take on a grander purpose without Kevin McCloud

From a balmy Mediterranean greenhouse in snowy Sweden to an incredible transforming Hong Kong apartment – this series celebrates visionary home-building Let us deal with the most immediate and valid concern when presented with a new series entitled Home (Apple+ TV) that promises an in-depth look at the different and architecturally interesting ways various people […]

Exciting Times by Naoise Dolan review – a witty, deadpan debut

A young Dubliner in Hong Kong struggles to connect in this fresh and funny debut about love and self-knowledge Ava, a 22-year-old Dubliner living in Hong Kong, describes herself as “good at men”. It’s a brilliantly concise summation of her take on relationships, which she sees as a power game, an “ultimately shallow emotional transaction” […]

China’s top official in Hong Kong pushes for national security law

Luo Huining says region’s pro-democracy movement is threat to ‘one country, two systems’ principle Beijing’s top official in Hong Kong has called for controversial national security laws shelved since 2003 to be passed as soon as possible to combat radical violence, foreign interference and pro-independence forces in the region. The comments, by the head of […]